Eating Your Words – Not Your Emotions

I recently worked with a delightful group of men and had to spend long periods of time just sitting in a van with them and listening to them talk. They knew each other so they had conversations about their lives, loves and activities.

I recently worked with a delightful group of men and had to spend long periods of time just sitting in a van with them and listening to them talk. They knew each other so they had conversations about their lives, loves and activities.

And the one thing they talked about more than anything was food.


They talked about food trucks, restaurants, their neighborhood dives, what they like at each place, reservations, dinners with girlfriends. It was like sitting in a car with a talking Zagat. I learned more about restaurants in Los Angeles during that weekend than I have in a long time.

None of these men were overweight; most were young and quite active. 

But when I listened to how they talked about food, it was quite different than how people who struggle with food talk about it. Different than how I have talked about food in the past. Different than how a lot of women talk about food.

They talked about it experientially. But not emotionally. They didn’t talk about anger at bread, love of cheese, or lust for chocolate. They said things like, “Dude – that taco truck rocks,” or “Try the pizza there – it’s great.”

It made me wonder how our relationship with food tells us about the needs we make food fill.  When we use food to fill a void it is not designed to fill – loneliness, boredom, depression, frustration, intimacy – then our vocabulary makes food sound more like a lover than a source of nourishment.

The language these guys used was matter of fact – about taste, cost, setting. And clearly it gave them pleasure – but that pleasure was embedded in a larger experience. 

Perhaps a good diet plan is not just about how we eat, but how we talk. These guys taught me that we really do eat our words – and some words may be more fattening than others.

Save the lusty language for lovers instead of lasagna and see if you start eating differently.

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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